Difficult Issues
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Excerpt from Liberty Savard's Mini Book 
"Keys to Understanding RELATIONSHIPS
(released January 2001, Bridge-Logos Publishing Co.)

Charles Spurgeon said that we should never neglect our own household by only doing good for and blessing others, while disdaining and devaluing those in our own homes. It certainly can seem easier to show care and compassion to those you don't have to live with. But our families are God's main earthly training centers for learning how to love. Do you sometimes feel like you and others in your training center are back in preschool and somebody needs a nap (and you're quite sure it isn't you)? God will crowd you into difficult, cranky, and irksome situations with family members, again and again, day after day, to teach you all how to love. He will accomplish this more quickly even if just one person in the family cooperates with Him.

If you were able to express true love in the following ways, do you realize that you would have wonderful relationships with everybody? You would probably become the most liked person in your city! 

  1. Love endures ill will without anger or resentfulness. 
  2. Love believes in the potential of another person, rather than resenting current conduct. 
  3. Love is patient, willing to wait for life change in others.
  4. Love is courteous, kind, and ready to show favor.
  5. Love acts upon, even searches for, opportunities to do good.
  6. Love is never envious of others' skills, honors received, or possessions.
  7. Love is never displeased when good things come to others.
  8. Love never treats others with disgust, contempt, or shaming. 
  9. Love esteems others, assigning them value.
  10. Love is never stubborn, cross, or contradictory.
  11. Love never does anything out of order, out of place, or at the wrong time. 
  12. Love acts with respect, kindness, good will, and courtesy towards all. 
  13. Love never keeps scorecards on the sins of others.
  14. Love never seeks self-gratification at the expense of others.
  15. Love believes God's power to be working on others' worst behaviors.
  16. Love never takes pleasure in mischief or hurt done to anyone. 
  17. Love initiates God's workings in others through right prayers for them.
  18. Love bears, endures, and covers over all things, unwilling to expose others' faults except in the most extreme situations. 
  19. Love is long suffering even when provoked.
  20. Love always looks for and believes in the best of others. 

Matthew Henry said, however, that wisdom, love, and cautiousness could dwell quite happily together. So, if love can no longer believe well of others because of undeniable facts presented, love can be wise while still hoping for the person. Love can earnestly pray for the redemption of the worst person, yet remain cautious and apart from his or her actions and attitudes. Love responses are the key to turning difficult relationships into positive prayer assignments. 

How do mere mortals bring these kinds of love responses to their difficult people? Especially since all of our unmet needs, unhealed hurts, and unresolved issues were birthed out of the difficult relationships in our lives? If you do not know how to dismantle your soul's stronghold thinking that is justifying bad feelings and grudges, love responses will be very difficult for you. Personal strongholds protecting deep needs and fierce pain will block God's love from flowing through you to others. Those strongholds have also blocked God's love from healing you. The keys to tearing them down are within your reach. Jesus said:

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19, NIV). 

These words of Christ contain powerful prayer principles that can completely revolutionize your life, and revolutionize your relationships as well. They first create room within your soul for life-changing attitudes and new patterns of thinking, and then bring divine empowerment into your prayers for others. 

These prayer principles will make it possible for you to surrender completely to God. Obedience and surrender to the Word of God does require you to surrender all of your personal rights, grudges, unforgiveness, feelings of injustice, and hurt feelings to God. This is not to turn you into a martyr, this actually is the only way you can ever make room within your soul to receive your own healing. I can almost hear some thinking, "Yeah, right. Give up my rights and defenses that I have managed to hold onto so I won't get hurt even worse, and then I'll feel better? Oh, sure!" 

It doesn't sound very logical, does it? It reminds me of the first time I drove some 300 miles from my small home town to the San Francisco Airport back in 1960. I had never seen a freeway before. Driving south on three lanes of traffic (enough to scare me right there!) below San Francisco, I kept looking across the other lanes of traffic to my left towards the airport. I could clearly see the airport to my left, but I had no concept of how to get to it. Every so often I would see an overhead sign, "To: San Francisco Airport," telling me to turn off the freeway to the right. I would just shake my head and keep driving. 

Any "fool" knew (in 1960) that it wasn't logical to go the opposite direction of something to get to it. And since I could see exactly where the airport was on my left, until I saw a road that would let me turn left, I wasn't turning! My mind simply could not grasp the concept of freeway off ramps and overpasses-because I had nothing to relate this new concept to

Loving, respecting, and favoring others who have caused or are causing grief is an alien concept to the wounded and needy soul. Getting even, striking out, controlling, or tearing down are concepts more familiar to it. While in exile and just prior to his death, Napoleon Bonaparte recognized an alien concept he wished he had understood. He said:

"Charlemagne, Alexander, Caesar, and I all built empires with force and domination. Jesus Christ built His empire on love, and there are millions right now who would be willing to die for Him." The only way Napoleon had known to achieve what he thought he wanted most ended up leaving him without comfort, help, or love when he needed it most. 

Our souls are convinced that they know what is best for us, how to get it, and how to guard our pain in the process. They have reached these conclusions based upon input accumulated during our lives. At the mention of releasing those who have used and abused us, our emotions may blaze up in anger or seethe in secret while planning revenge. Or they may cower fearfully. Loving relationships with the difficult, angry, and dangerous people who have hurt and betrayed us? No way!

We were all born into an unregenerated state like the unregenerate Gentiles Paul spoke of in Ephesians 4:18, "having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them . . ." (KJV). Paul told the Colossian believers, "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds . . . " (Colossians 1:21, NIV). He told the Ephesian believers, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8, NIV). We were born as tiny babies like little darkened, alienated lumps of clay on a potter's wheel.

Then human "potters" with darkened understanding and unrenewed minds began molding our tiny unformed minds, wills, and emotions. Think about that. We learned about ourselves, others, and God with our darkened understanding that was shaped by input from others' darkened understanding. That needs to be repeated:

We formed our most basic ideas about ourselves, others, and God with darkened understanding shaped by input from others with darkened understanding.

Can you see how some of your most basic beliefs and ideas about yourself and others, especially God, could be seriously flawed? Are you perhaps driving down life's freeway, seeing the good life off to your left, yet you can't get there? The only directions to it keep saying to turn away from what you think you want-so your soul just keeps going?

Are you ready to make a turn that seems to make no sense, just because Jesus Christ is asking you to? If so, " prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you . . . " (1 Peter 1:13, NIV). This is where the keys of the Kingdom come into use. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus Christ said to the Church: 

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19, NIV). 

These keys create conditions within our souls that open us up to receive divine empowerment to accomplish the works God gives us to do. The Amplified Bible says that the Word is always "effectually at work in you who believe-exercising its (superhuman) power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). That says to me that I want to be like Super Glue on His Word. Stuck all over it! I have had to get rid of a lot of the slimy, gooey residue of the stuff of my past to lay hold of that spiritual Super Glue.

Many Hebrew and Greek words for bind have very positive meanings-to put oneself under obligation to, weave together, heal, undergird, hold, persuade, and cause fragmented pieces to coalesce and become one whole again. The word loose in the original Greek, luo, (and companion words rhegnumi and agnumi) mean untie, break up, destroy, dissolve, melt, put off, wreck, crack to sunder by separation of the parts, shatter into minute fragments, disrupt, lacerate, convulse with spasms, break forth, burst, rend, tear up. These are strong words that a determined prayer warrior can begin to use to empty out the wrong beliefs and attitudes filling their souls with slimy, gooey toxic waste stuff.

Our relationships on earth need to be brought into alignment with God's already established will for them in heaven. Praying with these keys will refine and align your relationships that belong within God's will and purposes for your life, while moving out those that do not belong within God's will. In the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2), Jesus prayed to the Father, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." So should we, with regards to every relationship we have.

We can pray with these keys to bind our wills to the will of God, our minds to the mind of Christ, and ourselves to the fullness of the truth of His Word. Then we can pray the same prayers for those we have relationship with. God must be in the middle of our relationships to set them aright, because He wants to work them to good for every person involved. He will not mend our fences for us from the sidelines.

Loosing is a powerful prayer key for cutting away the ugly stuff that your unsurrendered soul wants to hang onto. This prayer key can also prevent any return of those bad attitudes, wrong beliefs, deception, resentment, and bitterness towards others. This prayer key can strip away the grave clothes so many of us wear into every meeting we have with others. 

The key of loosing is very powerful in destroying stronghold doors that give the enemy access to harass you and those you are in relationship with. Our souls and their souls have carefully filed their wrong mind-sets, unforgiveness, desires for revenge, and other bad attitudes. These "file cabinets" in the soul guarantee that hard things that may have happened years ago are easy to access today. Few wounded people understand why just one wrong look or wrong word from their difficult people can set the pain off again like rockets. These actions of our difficult people can easily trigger memories that are on our souls' artificial life support system. And we feel scorched all over again!

The good news is that these memories are the only remaining power our former traumas and our difficult people have over us! 

Our souls' artificial life support systems can be shut down with these prayer principles. Our stronghold walls protecting our open wounds and justifying our bitterness and anger about them can be brought down by right prayers. This creates room for God to begin to make us whole. Being whole is the foundation we need for the repairing of the breeches between us and others. Using the keys of the Kingdom prayer principles enables us to be healed, to obey His commands, and to be the restorers of our families and relationships.

"If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people's sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places-firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again" (Isaiah 58:9-12, The Message).

As you receive healing in your soul, your courage will rise up to look past the ruins of your past. Life change will come as you cooperate with God's empowerment. 

 

  
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